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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    Sheriffs Say Border Wide Open ... 0&nav=0w0v

    Sheriffs Say Border Wide Open
    May 5, 2006, 10:48 AM
    Reported by Ryan Wolf

    Texas border sheriff's help kick start a regional push to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and what began one year ago with 16 Texas border sheriffs has grown into an enormous southwest coalition.

    More than 2,000 miles stretching across four states, 25 counties from San Diego, California to Brownsville.

    This is the territory for the Southwest Border Sheriff's Coalition. A regional spinoff on a Texas initiative to help protect and secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

    "Texas has shown that it works."

    And for the first time ever sheriffs from California, Arizona and New Mexico are banding with Texas to essentially form "a human barrier, a human fence," as Sheriff Omar Lucio explains.

    The coalition's goals are an extension of Operation Linebacker.

    It's a Texas border sheriff operation to help Border Patrol detect and deter crimes along the river. Sheriff Todd Garrison is from New Mexico.

    "Criminal damage to property, we're having larceny, burglaries," he explains.

    And national trends show these types of illegal immigration crimes are stretching further into the interior parts of America.

    Rick Glancey is the Interim Executive Director of the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition.

    "We're running out of time... we're literally running out of time."

    And out a key federal funding opportunity.

    House lawmakers call for $100-million to go to the Southwest Border Law Enforcement Act. It's a section of the controversial immigration reform bill the senate won't even look at because of the national protests it sparks!

    Hundreds of thousands hit the streets last Monday. Valley demonstrators say the bill is unfair adding illegal immigrants should not be felons in the country. Border sheriff's agree but say funding is essential to to fix what they call a broken border created by the federal government.

    "Yes, it involves money and resources but that is the problem you dumped in our laps," says Glancey.

    The coalition says they now have 25 voices, 25 border counties going to Washington to push lawmakers under one voice.

    And while funding under HR 4437 doesn't look good, the sheriff's say, the battle has just begun ... they will live to fight another day.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion
    16,029 ... 5_0_10_0_C

    Sheriffs form new coalition
    The Brownsville Herald

    SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Participants of the newly-formed Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition said the U.S.-Mexico border remains wide open to illegal immigration, drug traffickers, terrorists and other criminals.

    “The failure of the U.S. government to secure the border has forced all of us to join together and unite in one voice so that we may be heard,” El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego said at the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition annual meeting Thursday.

    Samaniego said the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition was formed last year, but members voted at their South Padre Island meeting on Thursday to join with border counties in New Mexico, Arizona and California to form a new organization: the Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition.

    Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition Interim Executive Director Rick Glancey said the new coalition will remain separate from his group but unites 25 counties in four states that stretch from the mouth of the Rio Grande near Brownsville to the Pacific Ocean in San Diego.

    “That’s your entire southern border adjoining Mexico speaking as one voice in terms of rural law enforcement,” Glancey said. “If that doesn’t get the eyes and ears of Washington open, then if we have to, we’ll find some way to incorporate as many states as possible and make them partners in the border.”

    Although statistics were not available at press time, Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition members reported hundreds of arrests and the seizure of several tons of illegal drugs since forming last year.

    Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said the Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition intends to ask lawmakers in the nation’s capital for $100 million to improve border security through more personnel, equipment and training.

    “Right now, they’re just using a Band-Aid to fix a big problem,” he said. “We need something more permanent.”

    Lucio said it is not uncommon for human smugglers or drug traffickers to send one or two people as “decoys” to distract Border Patrol agents in and endless cat and mouse game between criminals and law enforcement officials.

    “While Border Patrol is taking that one to jail, they’ll leave that spot empty and then 10 people will come in while they’re gone,” Lucio said. “That’s where we come in.”

    Imperial County Undersheriff Sharon Housouer from California said border security needs to be applied strategically and evenly across the border to be effective.

    “When you increase the security at one area of the border … it just redirects them,” she said of smugglers and other criminals. “We’re all impacted eventually.”

    Dońa Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison of New Mexico said authorities need to consider the disparate geography of the porous border to increase security.

    “Our border is actually worse case we there is nothing,” Garrison said. “There is a marker every mile and a fence every once in a while.”

    The Southwest Border Sheriff’s Coalition did not make a strong statement in support or against House Resolution 4437, but participants said praised Mexican President Vicente Fox for rejecting a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs in Mexico.

    Although potential funding for the Southwest is listed inside HR 4437, San Diego County Assistant Sheriff Earl Wentworth said lawmakers can write another bill that will provide funding for border security, if the controversial bill does not become law.

    HR 4437, which passed 239-182 the House of Representatives in December, would require construction of a wall along the border, make it illegal to aid or hire an undocumented immigrant, and it would make illegal entry a felony offense.

    “Some of the strategies in there are unrealistic,” Wentworth said. “You can’t turn hundreds and thousands of people into instant felons. I think it needed to better planned before they approached Congress.”

    He said coalition members want to leave enforcing immigration law to federal officials.

    “Our goal is to just keep the peace in our communities, keep them safe and keep them crime-free,” Wentworth said. “Border Patrol is responsible for immigration, and we’re not Border Patrol officers, nor do we want to be Border Patrol officers.”

    Posted on May 05, 06 | 12:10 am
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